Croatia is expected to receive up to 16 Bell OH-58D Kiowas, with the helicopters being donated by USA.
According to Croatian portal Defender.hr, representatives from the NATO nation's defence ministry are to visit the USA to select the surplus airframes, while Zagreb works out how to minimise the import taxes linked to the donation – expected to amount to some HRK100 million ($14.1 million).
The offered helicopters would be received without armaments, but with their mast-mounted sights still installed. Croatia is expected to seek a related weapons package once funding can be secured, but no sooner than 2018.
Croatia's air force already operates the Bell 206B – from which the OH-58 was derived – for pilot training and light transport duties.
Meanwhile, a resolution has been found to a saga dating back to August 2014 regarding the overhaul of second batch of six Mil Mi-8 utility helicopters for the Croatian air force. Under a deal worth HRK90 million, the rotorcraft are to be dismantled by ZTC in Velika Gorica, and parts sent out to receive work in Azerbaijan, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Ukraine. ZTC will subsequently reassemble the aircraft.
Source: Flight International